Since the year 2014, the disparity between mobile and desktop users is growing at an ever increasing rate, with mobile in the lead. This is not surprising due to the affordability and ease of using mobile devices. It is now cheaper and easier than ever to access the internet and all of its glory. It is important to keep our eye on the mobile platform, in terms of threats. As the popularity of the mobile platform grows, so will the pool of potential victims in the eyes of malware authors.
We can see that the smartphone is the second most popular method to search the web and right next to that in third are tablets. Combined, we can see that using a mobile device to search the web is increasingly popular. Although less popular, smart TVs and wearables, some of which use iOS and Android also continue to gain traction. Searching the web on these types of devices exposes users to the same type of risks that you would expect when searching on PCs, although not as widely relevant for mobile yet.
Examples of these risks include things like false advertisement from third-party providers of apps being displayed higher than official channels. This would be similar to what is seen when searching for common software without an ad blocker installed. In the future, one could expect as PC behavior continues to be mirrored on mobile devices risks like these will become more prevalent.
This graph shows that 20 percent of time people are using their device’s browser instead of official apps. You’re less likely to run into security risks when using official apps like Facebook or Netflix due to the closed nature of what is being supplied to the user within those apps. In a browser, you’re more likely to run across various kinds of misdirection, phishing, or pop-ups.
With the increase in popularity of mobile and the connectivity it provides, it is not a surprise that we are seeing this increase in security risks for the devices on the go. The landscape is just getting bigger, and thieves are always looking for new ways to break through the in place security nets. This fact alone is a big enough reason to always be updating mobile OS software direct from the manufacturer as well as having a proven mobile solution like those from Webroot installed.
Part 2: Mobile threats: Drive by downloads – Android.Koler
- Mobile threats: Remote access Trojans (RATs) - July 7, 2015
- Mobile threats: Premium SMS malware - July 6, 2015
- Mobile threats: Google Play – Malware from the store - July 3, 2015